ARE VISA’S REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL TO INDIA?
Yes. Many nationalities can apply for an e-Tourist visa. The Indian Government is in the process of extending this eTourist facility to more countries so check here to see the latest eligibility.
For the e-Tourist visa, you need to apply within 30 days of travel for no longer than 30 days validity. The visa is issued online and takes up to 3 days.
Regular tourist visas (issued by the Indian Embassy or Consulate) for those nationalities who do not yet have availability of the e-Visa facility, are usually issued for 6 months and are either Single and Multiple Entry. As the validity begins from date of issue, be sure you do not apply for your visa too early.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE IN INDIA
It is a very good idea to purchase travel insurance before travelling to India. Ensure you have adequate emergency evacuation insurance and that your luggage is also adequately insured, especially if you are carrying expensive equipment such as laptops, cameras, ipads. If you are travelling on one of our Group Tours, Travel Insurance is compulsory.
I’M A SINGLE TRAVELLER. DO I NEED TO PAY THE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT?
At Incredible Indian Tours, we don’t charge a compulsory single supplement charge for single travellers. On our group tours we often have 3,4 or even 5 travellers of the same sex travelling independently. If you choose the sharing option, your tour leader will rotate the single sharers at each new hotel, so you get a new room-mate each stop. If there is an odd number of single sharers, then someone gets their own room occasionally.
The Single Supplement cost only needs to be paid if you wish to guarantee your own room throughout the tour.
WHAT IS THE INTERNET ACCESS LIKE IN INDIA
Internet access is available in internet cafes and hotels in most parts of India. Most hotels now provide Wifi access.
Smaller towns and villages may have limited access.
If you are carrying your own laptop, or a sim enabled iPad or similar, you can purchase a data sim card.
Recommended providers are Vodafone, Airtel and Jio. If you wish to get a local data sim card, you will need to have a photocopy of your passport photo page and visa page. You will also need a passport sized photo.
WHAT IS THE PHONE/MOBILE COVERAGE LIKE IN INDIA
Mobile phone coverage is widespread and generally very good in most parts of India. Ensure global roaming is activated on your phone before you arrive.
If you wish to get a local sim card, you will need to have a photocopy of your passport photo page and visa page.
You will also need a passport sized photo. Mobile phone sim connections can be a little complicated and take up to 2 days to activate. It is better if you are in the one place for several days, rather than travelling around. Recommended providers are Vodafone, Airtel and Jio.
ARE THERE MANY ATMS IN INDIA
Many ATMs are available in cities and most towns. Smaller towns and villages will have very few, so have enough cash to cover purchases when out of major cities.
CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD IN INDIA
Credit cards are accepted by most mid-range and above hotels. Mid-range and upmarket tourist restaurants and medium-to-large shops in tourist areas are also likely to accept credit cards. Smaller shops, cafes, market stalls and places in remote areas usually won’t be able to accept credit cards, so you will need to ensure you have plenty of cash when you travel away from the cities.
SHOULD I BRING TRAVELLERS CHEQUES?
Travellers cheques are hard to come by and exchange these days. You are better off with a travellers money-card that can access your funds safely from an ATM. Bring a small amount of cash that can be exchanged if necessary.
DO YOU NEED TO TIP IN INDIA?
Tipping room staff, porters, drivers and guides is customary in India. While not mandatory, it is a polite way to thank someone for their service to you. Restaurant bills often include a service charge in the bill, but if not, 10% is a standard tip in good restaurants, whilst in local eateries, rounding up the bill by 20-50rs is adequate. Some tipping guidelines.
Room service 10% of the bill
Hotel staff member bringing something to your room Rs20
Porters Rs20-50 per bag brought to your room
Drivers Rs300-500 per day
Guides Rs200-300 for a short guided tour
Guides Rs500-800 per day
IS WATER SAFE TO DRINK ANYWHERE IN INDIA?
No. Do not drink the water, do not brush your teeth in the water and do not inhale or breath in water in the shower. It is also a good idea to avoid eating raw salads. Avoid ice in drinks except in more upmarket establishments and peel fruit before eating.
HOW MUCH TOILET PAPER DO I NEED TO BRING?
Outside of hotels and tourist restaurants, most public toilets you will encounter will be squat-style toilets and will not supply toilet paper. Most hotels (apart from budget/backpacker hotels) will provide toilet paper, although the rolls may be very small. Always carry toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It is always a good idea to have a roll in your luggage.
You can purchase toilet paper easily in touristy areas of India, so you don’t need to bring more than a roll with you.
DO I NEED TO PACK A BATHING SUIT?
If you’re travelling in the warmer months, you might well stay in a hotel with a pool, so definitely take a bathing suit. If you are travelling to the coastal areas such as Goa or Kerala, there may be opportunities for spending time on the beach.
SHOULD I JUST BRING A SMALL CARRY ON BAG?
It depends on where you are travelling and what you like to do when you’re touring a new country. India has many wonderful handicrafts and goods to purchase, so if you think you might be tempted, bring a medium-sized suitcase, duffle or backpack, pack light (10-15kg) and leave plenty of room for purchases.
IS BRINGING A KINDLE OR IPAD A GOOD IDEA?
There are long journeys usually to be had in India by road or train, so reading material is a great idea to have. Kindles and iPads are ideal as it means that you don’t have to carry heavy books around. Download some good books on India and enjoy reading it as you experience it.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE. WILL I NEED A WOOL SWEATER?
If you are travelling in North India between November and February, you will at least require a light sweater or jacket. December and January can be very cold and a wool sweater will be useful. Between September and April, if you are heading to the Himalayas, woollens will be required. For the rest of the country light clothing and light jackets for hilly areas will be all that is required.
Refer to our Weather guidelines in our Country Guidelines in your tour pack that you will receive upon booking.
DO I NEED TO DRESS CONSERVATIVELY?
Yes, India is a very conservative country and dressing skimpily will draw unwanted attention to yourself, whether you are a male or female. Lightweight, loose fitting, long legged clothing is best. Shoulders and knees should always be covered.
SHOULD I WEAR CLOSED IN SHOES TO PROTECT MY FEET FROM DIRT & GERMS?
In the cooler months, you may want to have closed in shoes because it is cold. In the warmer weather and areas, you will probably be more comfortable in open sandals or slip-off shoes. Additionally, you will likely find that you need to take your shoes off regularly when going into shops/temples etc and slip offs are quick and easy.